Archive for standings

The Race for Last

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 23, 2010 by mwalle1

As the NHL regular season nears an end and teams fight for playoff positions, there is a completely different race going on, the race for last place.

Every year there seems to be a highly coveted prospect that teams who finish near the bottom of the standings have a chance of drafting.  The NHL uses a lottery system to determine who will get the first selection during the draft.  Only team who finish 26th or lower in the standings have a chance at the top pick. 

A season full of misery could lead to many seasons full of promise and playoff births.  Take the Capitals for instance.  After another long season near the bottom of the standings in 2003-04, the Capitals finished 27th overall and had a 14.2 percent of drafting first overall in the upcoming draft, a pick sure to be used on a prospect named Alexander Ovechkin.  The Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins both beat the Capitals in the race for last place, but the Caps jumped two spots and drafted Ovechkin while the Penguins settled for Evgeni Malkin and the ‘Hawks got Cam Barker. 

A year of terrible hockey resulted in the best player in the world coming to the District and some of the most exciting hockey Washington has ever seen.  The Caps are now Cup favorites and have a talented young core that promises to produce for years to come and all because of one bad year of hockey.  That’s not to say team throw the rest of the season if they’re close to the bottom of the standings, but teams and even their fans know a talented, young prospect is better than a few meaninless wins in the standings at the end of the year.